Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Butterfly Buns with White Chocolate Wings

The butterfly bun is a firm favourite at any children's party.  In this version of the classic, I have used giant white chocolate buttons which were liberally coated with sprinkles to replicate the colourful symmetrical wings.

Butterfly Buns

The classic butterfly bun has a special place in my heart.  I fondly recall making these little cupcakes when I was a wee girl with my lovely Mum.  Standing on a chair to help me reach the work bench I'd assist my Mum by positioning the wings into the buttercream before finishing them with a blob of strawberry jam to represent their eyes!

A few months ago I came across a baking blog which had shared a recipe for these beautiful buns.  They looked absolutely delicious, but it fascinated me that she hadn't given her butterflies any eyes ;-)   Having done a little search on the web, it appears that although some dress their decorated butterfly buns with a jam eye, like Mum & I do, the vast majority don't.  It appears that even Mary Berry is in the 'without eye' camp.   To be honest, I rather like my butterfly cakes to have an eye in the form of a small amount of jam positioned next to their wings.   This is the style Mum always showed me and I'm not going to change that.



Butterfly Buns with White Chocolate Wings

Now, although I've stayed true to the blob of jam on my butterfly buns, I decided to jazz up the butterfly's wings, after all the feature which makes butterflies so beautiful are their symetrically colourful wings.    So, with the aid of some giant white buttons, which were bought liberally coated with sprinkles, I made my butterfly buns a little more colourful and fun.  I'm sure you've bought those sprinkle coated white chocolate buttons before,  they're often found in pick-and-mix sweetie counters.  As a child they were one of my favourite sweets.  Once a week, or so, my brother and I would be given a small amount of money to spend at the local corner shop.  The corner shop in our village was in fact the sweet shop where there would be row upon row of jarred sweets.  Sherbert lemons, bon-bons, chocolate limes, liquorice.  More often than not my brother and I would spend our pennies at their small pick-and-mix counter.  Sweets were individually priced; they sold white mice for a penny, UFOs were also a penny but fruit salads and black jacks were priced at a more reasonable rate of two for 1p ;-) 

Pick-n-Mix sweet counter
Image courtesy of pixabay

 The sponge for these delicious butterfly buns was a classic Victoria mixture.   Once baked the cakes were partially hollowed out (the off cuts being stored in the freezer ready to make a trifle another day)  and filled with a generous amount of homemade blackberry jam.  This was topped with some buttercream.  The giant white chocolate buttons were carefully cut in half, before being positioned in the buttercream frosting.  A small blob of the blackberry jam was spooned on top of these classic cakes. 

  
Butterfly Buns, made with a Victoria Sponge and filled with a blackberry jam before being topped with buttercream and white chocolate wings

These little butterfly buns were taken with us on a family visit.  They were well received by our niece, Laura,  who hid them in her kitchen cupboard to prevent her two young children seeing them before they'd had their dinner.  The following day Laura reported that the buns had been very much enjoyed.      

Butterfly Buns, made with a Victoria Sponge and filled with a blackberry jam before being topped with buttercream and white chocolate wings


Do you give your butterfly buns jam 'eyes'?




So let's get to it and bake! 


Butterfly Buns with White Chocolate Wings.     Yum

Butterfly Buns with White Chocolate Wings
Yield: 10 cupcakes
Serves: 10
Difficulty: Easy 
Time: hands on time about 35 minutes; plus 20 - 25 minutes bake time; cooling time. 
Freezable: Yes, undecorated  
Storage: Airtight container for 3 or 4 days.

You will need:

Electric Hand Held Beater (optional)
Wooden Spoon
Sieve
Spatula or large Metal Spoon
Muffin Sized Paper Cases
Muffin Baking Tray
Small heavy based Pan
Sharp Kitchen Knife
Piping Bag
Piping Nozzle (I used a star shape)

For the sponge mixture

170g Unsalted Butter, softened
85g Golden Caster Sugar
85g Caster Sugar
3 large Eggs, beaten
3 tbsp Milk
1tsp Vanilla Extract
170g SR Flour

For the jam

1 Punnet Blackberries
2 tbsp Sugar
3 tbsp Water
or
3-4 tbsp of your favourite red/purple jam

For the buttercream 

120g Softened Butter
250g Icing Sugar, plus a little extra for dusting the cupcakes
Splash of Milk

For the wing decoration

10 Giant White Chocolate Buttons, decorated with sprinkled (We purchased ours from Wilkinson's Pick and Mix counter)


How to make them:

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 190c / Fan 170c / Gas 5.  Place the paper muffin cases into the muffin tray.


2.  Make the sponge.  Place the softened butter and sugar into a good sized bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until pale and fluffy.  Gradually add the beaten egg a little at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and milk and beat to combine. Sieve the flour into the bowl.  Using a spatula or large metal spoon fold this in gently.

3.  Fill the paper cases.  Use a teaspoon to fill the paper cases.  You're aiming for them to be around half to two-thirds full.  You may decide to weigh each muffin to ensure equal sizes.  Each paper case will weigh about 63g  -65g.

4.  Bake.  Place the muffin tray in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes.  You may need to rotate the tray after 15 minutes of baking.   Remove the tray from the oven once the cupcakes are fully baked, with a golden top and a sponge which springs back when touched.  Carefully remove each cupcake from the baking tray hollow and place on a cooling tray.

5.  Meanwhile, make the jam (optional).  Place the blackberries (fresh or frozen) into a small pan.  Add the water and sugar.  Place the pan over a low to medium heat.  The sugar will soon dissolve and the blackberries will gradually begin to release their juice and start to cook down.  Use a teaspoon to taste the blackberry mixture, adding more sugar if required.  Stir the fruit periodically.  Allow the jam to slowly bubble for around 5 - 10 minutes, stirring regularly.  The jam will begin to reduce in volume.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Using a teaspoon, remove a small amount of jam from the pan and place onto a tea plate.  Place the tea plate into the fridge for around 5 minutes.  Remove the plate from the fridge.  Slide your finger along the plate to touch the side of the jam, if the jam crinkles it is ready to use, if it is still loose and not crinkling cook the jam for a further 5 minutes.  Re-test in the same way.

6.  Make the buttercream.  Place the softened butter into a good sized bowl.  Sieve most of the icing sugar into the butter.  Use a wooden spoon to combine the two ingredients.   Once combined beat well to create a creamy frosting.   Taste and add more icing sugar if necessary.  Add a little milk if the mixture feels particularly thick,  (I added 2 capfuls).   Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.

7.  Cut the giant white chocolate drops in half.  Boil a kettle of water.  Hold the blade of the kitchen knife over the steam to allow the knife to warm through.  Use some kitchen roll to remove any moisture from the blade of the knife.  Place the chocolate drop onto a flat surface.  Holding it steady, carefully use a sawing motion to cut the chocolate in half.

8.  Decorate the butterfly buns.  Take a sharp knife and cut a circle out of the top of each cake about 1cm from the edge.  Use the prongs of a fork to scrape out a little more of the sponge if necessary to make a slightly deeper hole.  Using a teaspoon, half fill the cavity with jam.   Pipe a generous swirl of buttercream over the top of the jam.  Position two white chocolate halves in the buttercream, angled in a 'V' shape.  With a teaspoon, place a small amount of jam on top of the buns, approximately where the two chocolate button halves meet.  Place a little icing sugar into a sieve and sprinkle lightly over the decorated buns.

Enjoy!

Notes:

a) I'd recommend purchasing a few extra giant white chocolate buttons in case you find that they break when cutting them in half (I had two breakages 2)
b) Consider freezing the off-cuts of sponge to use in the base of a trifle another day.


  








This post has been shared with: 

 Bake of the Week co-hosted by Sarah at Maison Cupcake & Helen at Casa Costello (this week hosted by Sarah)

 Treat Petite co-hosted by CakeyBoi and Kat over at The Baking Explorer.  This month is hosted by cakeyBoi and the theme is 'favourite sweets, chocolates and biscuits'.
CookBlogShare Cuddle Fairy Monkey and Mouse Link up your recipe of the week The Mummy Toolbox



                 
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35 comments:

  1. I think you've taken fairy cakes to a whole new level! Love the idea of the jazzies and jam filling! Thanks for joining in with #BAKEoftheWEEK !

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    1. Hahaha, for the life of me I couldn't remember what those little white chocolate drops were called....thank you for reminding me:-) and for your lovely comment Sarah :-)
      Angela x

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    1. Aw thank you Rebecca, i must admit i was really pleased with how well the sponge came out :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, it makes my day when I hear that people like what I share :-)
      Thanks for popping by and leaving a lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  4. It makes me happy that your butterflies have eyes! What a shame if they didn't! I disagree with Mary Berry on this one I have to say.
    I remember the days when penny sweets were actually a penny…happy days they were !
    Thanks for sharing
    Betty x
    The Betty Stamp

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    1. :-) It makes the butterfly happy too Betty as it can see where it's going....though perhaps it doesn't want to see itself being eaten ;-) It was a simpler life when penny sweets were a penny wasn't it,
      Thanks for popping by and leaving a lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  5. Wow, I've never heard of butterfly cakes having eyes before! But I love the idea :-) And what a fab Idea to use those pretty chocolate buttons for wings! Your cakes look gorgeous and I bet they taste fab :-) I do remember sweet shops very fondly - there was one on my way to school when I was a teenager. It's a good job we had a good long walk to school to burn off all those calories! Eb x

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    1. It always fascinates me that with one straightforward classic recipe people can approach it in different ways (in this case with or without eyes). We were a few miles from secondary school so we usually caught a commissioned bus which effectively dropped us off outside the school - so no sweet shop visits for us (apart from a Friday lunchtime when we looked forward to going to the local village for chippy dinner and a 'browse' in the local sweet shop....happy days :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comments Eb,
      Angela x

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    2. Oooh - I remember the chippy dinners. We had a chip shop very close to school. Again - good job I had a long walk to school!! And happy days indeed :-) Eb x

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  6. I love your butterfly cakes Angela, they really are so pretty and dainty too. I've never come across butterfly eyes before but next time I make some butterfly cakes I'll definitely be putting a little spot of jam on them and using chocolate buttons, a great idea xx

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    1. Aw thank you Sarah :-) though in reality the buns were a little digger than dainty having been made in muffin sized paper cases ;-)
      Thanks for your lovely comments,
      Angela x

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  7. These look adorable! I never knew people gave their butterflies "eyes." I rarely go to the effort of putting on wings but I often used to bake jam inside my buns. They're so good fresh from the oven!

    I am loving that you made the wings from jazzies/snowies. They are my favourite pick n mix too and it makes me sad that it's so difficult to come across them these days (or it is for me anyway.) A couple of years ago Tesco sold giant versions of them in the baking aisle but I've never seen them again :(

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    1. Until recently I always assumed that everybody put 'eyes' on their butterfly buns so was surprised when I realised the vast majority of people don't. The idea of baking the jam inside the cupcake mix sounds really yummy, something I'll have to try.
      Jazzies are great aren't they. I must say mr E & I struggled to source these too. As I mentioned, we eventually bought some from Wilkinsons having been disappointed with other sources.....sounds like there's a gap in the market there Jo ;-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment Jo,
      Angela x

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  8. Love the white chocolate wings idea, my nephew would love these :-) Thanks for sharing #CookBlogShare

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    1. Thank you Hayley, they went down really well with our young nephew and niece too :-)
      Angela x

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  9. I haven't made butterfly cakes since I was a kid, and I honestly can't remember if we did eyes or not! I do remember going to the shop though with 20p and getting a bag full of sweets! #HowtoSunday x

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    1. It sounds as though you should perhaps make some butterfly buns if you've not made them since your were small ;-) Hahaha, those 10p or 20p bags of sweets were always a lot of fun - my brother an I would spend ages trying to decide what to out into our paper bags :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  10. Ah they are gorgeous! Love the idea of using Jazzies as the wings thats fab! #howtosundays

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    1. :-) Aw thank Midgie. The idea of the chocolate Jazzies wings came to me when OH & I were dreaming up another bake :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  11. What a lovely idea. They look so pretty. Bet they were tasty as well

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    1. They certainly were Alison, the blackberry jam was delicious in it and was a wonderful contrast against the buttercream both in terms of colour and flavour.
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  12. These look so pretty! and definitely better than mine! I love the idea of hollowing them out and the wings are so cool! love a good pick and mix, thanks for linking to #YumTum this week.

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    1. Aw thank you Charlotte :-) Hollowing them out simply gave a little more room for the jam which contrasted nicely against the sweetness of the buttercream frosting. I was really pleased with how effective the wings were, they gave a little more fun to a classic cake which most of us enjoyed making in childhood.
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

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  13. I love your recommendation to buy a few more chocolate buttons in case they break! What about the 50+ I would eat whilst decorating the cakes ;-) Thanks again for joining in with #BakeoftheWeek with another wonderful post x

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    1. Hahaha :-) I may have 'deliberately' broken a couple of our chocolate buttons when I assembled the butterflies ;-)
      Thaks for popping by and your lovely comments Helen,
      Angela x

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  14. I loved making them with my mum too, carefully positing the cake wings too. Love the idea of making more colourful wings! We never put eyes on ours, I had never really thought about it, we don't even include jam, just icing (and lot of it!). Thanks so much for linking up to #HowtoSunday x

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    1. Hahaha, yeah you've got to have lashings of icing ;-) I think butterfly buns are one of those bakes most of us remember making in our childhood.
      Thanks for popping by Jenny and of course for hosting a great linky,
      Angela x

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  15. Love the use of the white chocolate buttons with sprinkles! Thanks for entering these into Treat Petite x

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    1. Thank you Stuart, they were a lot of fun :-)
      Thanks for hosting,
      Angela x

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  16. These sound so delicious! I love that you used white chocolate for the wings, thanks for entering into Treat Petite!

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    1. Thank you Kat, they were really yummy and I know I'll definately use the white chocolate wings in the future.
      Thanks for popping and commenting Kat,
      Angela x

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